Reconstructing Dance from Florence and Holland

Most of what we know about dance in Florence has to do with its political nature. There was dancing at court, at weddings, and during other political celebrations. The renaissance dances attempted to show the dancers as powerful, dignified, and full of virtue. There are sources from this time which mention dancing happening for other reasons, but none of those dances have been recorded and passed down through time. The recreations, at least, seam a lot stiffer and more dignified then the recreations of Dutch dance.

The Dutch dances are now used to demonstrate and celebrate Dutch culture. Because we can not see either of these types of dances as they were performed in the past it is difficult to tell if what we can see now is accurate. A difficulty in accurately recreating the Dutch dances is that the areas of Holland with better preserved costumes have no traditional dances. Several parts of Holland also became reformed and did not participate in dancing. Also, some of the festivals which participated in dance stopped doing so after the Word Wars.

The Renaissance Dance Manuals attempt to explain how to properly dance. They were made within the time that the dances they describe were being performed. They discus principles such as Measure, Memory, Partitioning the ground, Air, Manner, and Body Movement, and also give specific dance steps to follow.

The handbook on “The Dances of the Netherlands” was created in 1944, and so although it did give some specific dance steps, it also attempted to bring back a revival of traditional Dutch dances so as to keep them alive and supplement the culture. It has no discussion on principles of dancing, but a performer would need to have a good grasp of principles similar to those described in the other text if they were to perform the dance well.

The directions given in “The Dances of the Netherlands” regarding how to perform the dances are easier to understand then those in Renaissance Dance Manuals. This may in due in part to the fact that this was written much later and so is attempting to explain how to do something that is no longer commonly done. I believe that I would be able to reconstruct some of the dances it contains, particularly the Cramingnon, as it is described plainly and does not contain any terms which assume that the reader knows what they mean. The Renaissance Dance Manuals used a lot more terms that require previous knowledge, such as “one forward” or “one simple”.

It would be interesting to see several hundred years from now how current dances are preserved as well as these Florentine and Dutch dances. With the technology of video recording, the internet, and other methods of storage they will probably be much more accurate then our recreations are. I would be fascinated to see a recreation of Whip/Nae-Nae or The Macarena and to see how people of the future respond to them.

Colorful Pages, Colorful Dance

By comparing De Practica, a dance manual written by Guglielmo Ebrea of Pesaro to Dances of the Netherlands by E. Van Der Ven-Ten Bensel, one can note several striking differences and similarities that define them as worthy representations of their art– dance.

Equally as eye-catching as De Practica’s illuminated initials, Dances of the Netherlands’ cover pages display an colorfully-dressed woman lively stepping out a dance, informing the viewer of the vigorous, jubilant dancing within. De Practica’s pages delightfully surprise the viewer with bright colors and great detail, the beauty and near perfectly formed script inspiring wonder and appreciation for the art that calls for glamorous representation.DutchDancing

By simply looking at the delicately etched humanistic script of De Practica and its initial work, one can guess the truth that it was meant for only nobles and the like to perform, reflecting the high value held towards those persons who could move with grace, elegance, and calculated movements– whose movements reflected the man’s true inner virtue expressly, and the more virtuous the man, the more accomplished, and highly esteemed. Similarly, the vibrant colors of the dancers’ costumes of Dances of the Netherlands and Holland, Michigan’s Tulip Time represent a vibrant Dutch dance culture and inform the viewer that the intended audiences and performers are more varied, anything but nobility, and popping colors and flying kicks represent a more spontaneous environment.

When it comes to practicality as dance manuals, the Netherlands manual wins hands-down. Although De Practica details the seven aspects of what it claims creates “perfect” dance- measure, memory, partitioning of the ground, air, manner, and body movement, the language often skirts around the unclear point with flowery language, making confusing references to dances unknown to the reader. Dances of the Netherlands provides the most helpful information, including descriptions of specific dance steps, even displaying diagrams about the formation and gender of some dances’ participants. Because both manuals often use terms of the past the modern-day reader is expected to know, readers are left to wonder what on earth various terms mean. In The Dances of the Netherlands, one is at a loss when it comes to determine the “lively manner” of the skipping step.

Concerning De Practica, reconstructing a dance is near impossible, as a modern-day reader is unable to decipher the meaning of referenced dance terms such as the “bassadanza” or “saltarello”. Although the descriptions of the Netherlands manual still leave much to be offered, they allow the reader to reach an understanding of a dance, whereas De Practica simply does not.
But however vague or descriptive each manual may be, the objective is clear: impress upon the reader a notion of awe and admiration for the art of dancing unique to their respective cultures via their beautiful pages, and through their instructing manner, provide a means for audiences to improve one’s skills or come to a greater understanding of the art of dancing as a reflection of a subdued expression of the virtue and nobility of Italy or the pastime and colorful fun of the Dutch.

Dancing Through the Ages

Every year, Holland, Michigan, a generally quiet and quant Western Michigan town erupts into a buzzing metropolis during the week of May 7th through May 14th. From near and far, people come to see the newly blooming tulips adorning the parks and side of the roads. However, one of the largest pulls of tourists is the Tulip Time Dutch Dancing.

Tulip Time First - Holland area 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders dance DeSchoenlapper, or The Cobbler, during a practice run at Centennial Park, for their first upcoming performances at Tulip Time. This is the first year for elementary aged dancers, the brainchild of Holland High School's costume director Kristi Berens, who sent out the call to 30 Holland area parents; with 24 responding. Kinder Dance's practice run garnered overwhelming response from the appreciative crowd, as children klomped their way into the hearts of onlookers. Berens hopes this will be the start of an annual representation by the younger kids of Holland. They'll be performing several times during Tulip Time. (Dave Raczkowski | The Grand Rapids Press)

Nearly 1,000 locals perform traditional Dutch dance, showcasing traditional Dutch costumes and wooden shoes, using the very streets as their stage. The Dutch dancing began in 1935, when a local high school gym teacher, Ethel Perry, trained 12 students to perform Dutch Folk dances, naming the group the “Dutch Villagers.”

Today the dance has evolved to be a compilation of Dutch Folk music and is choreographed and performed in costumes that are patterned after the traditional dress of the Dutch Provinces. The dance gives the community its heritage and identity. It celebrates those who came before them, and commemorates Holland’s ancestors.

The original dances of the Netherlands are the basis for the Tulip Time Dutch Dancing. Dancin157187040_-european-national-dances-netherlands-folk-music-costumeg was popular for celebration, fairs, weddings, and national feast days. Dances such as the Cramignon were chain dances that called its dancers to take lively skipping steps, hand in hand in a long chain. Dances for every Terschelling festival, including the Wilhelmus dance and the Afklappertje are very similar to Tulip Time Dutch dancing. The dance has couples walk arm-in-arm round a circle. When the musician strikes up the “Malbrouck,” the dancers form into two lines, face their partners, and with a lot of stamping and clapping, they proceed with a progressive Longways Country dance. The dancing of both the Netherlands and Holland reflect one another in procession, pattern, and dress. The use of wooden shoes and clapping creates a unique and charming sound and rhythm to the dance.

The dances taken from the Netherlands and translated into the modern context of Holland, Michigan are done so by manuals such as the Dances of the Netherlands by E. Van Der Ven-Ten Bensel. The dances described, however, are much easier to follow than Arbeau’s description of the pavan. Although the pavan is a very simplistic dance composed of two simples, one double forward and two simples and one double backwards, the vocabulary makes the assumption of the reader being well acquainted with the style and terminology related to the dance.

The De Practica, dedicated to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, scribed by Pagano of Rho, however, takes a very analytical form of a dance manual. It analyzes the fundamentals of dancing, narrowing them down to a seven principle science: ideal harmony, measure, memory, partitioning, manner, air, and movement. The dancing described is like the Dutch dancing in that it was meant for public festivities, weddings and political receptions. However, the dance was not meant to give necessarily a cultural identity like the Dutch dancing, but instead meant to idealize the prince: his virtues, power, and value.

Dancing Through Time

I have always found dance one of the most moving forms of art. It draws people together in a unique way, as everyone moves to the music as one. Throughout time, dance has been used to express culture, to impress others, to celebrate, and as a form of artistic expression. Each of these purposes for dance are relevant in both the Dutch dance performed in Holland, Michigan, and in the traditional dances of Renaissance Florence.

As an ephemeral art, dance is extremely difficult to capture for those that are not watching it in real time. De Practica by Guglielmo Ebreo de Pesano is one of the most comprehensive glimpses into the dance of renaissance Florence. This book itself is a beautiful book, with decorated borders, illuminated initials, velvet covering, and humanistic script. De Pracitca presents itself as an important book, implying that the information in it is essential to the Florentine culture.

dutch-dncers_1881Compared to Florence, the conservation of Dutch dance is much less dignified. Through little books and texts we can find some details on the presence and type of dance performed in Holland. The formatting of the books say a lot about each culture’s dance: De Practica draws attention to itself and asks to be read by everyone, while the books on Dutch dancing are simpler and for those particularly interested in them.

Digging into the information inside any of these materials explaining dance, we find that it is very difficult to understand. Both Guglielmo and Arbeau (an author that explains dance movements from Renaissance Florence) assume that their readers know many of the terms they use to describe the dances. Though this may have seemed helpful, it is necessary that the steps be broken down to a painfully simple amount for anyone to have a chance of recreating a dance. The same is applicable to the sources we have regarding Dutch dance. Though Holland, MI has Dutch dancing each year during Tulip Time, they were unable to fully recreate the dances that took place in the country Holland. This is due to a lack of comprehensive explanation of the traditional dances of the country.

There is, as we haveFlorentine_dance seen, a stark contrast in the role that dance played in these cultures. In Florence, dance was often used to idealize the prince, to impress visiting world leaders, and to arrange treaties. Beyond political reasons, dance was performed during weddings and festivals as a form of celebration. Florentine’s used dance to express how important they believed they were: for they believed they were the descendants of the Roman Empire.

Holland, Michigan uses dance as more of a way to celebrate their culture. It is seen as a way to express gratitude towards their ancestors that provided them with this wonderful community. Dutch dance is also a way to share their culture with others. The dance helps shape the joyful atmosphere that Holland, MI strives to have, and cultivates an appreciation for their home country.

Regardless of where I am in the world, dance seems to follow me and give me insight into each culture I encounter.

Dance, Duchies, and the Dutch

When I visited the Netherlands this summer, I discovered something about the identity of the country that my time in Holland, MI never taught me: the Netherlands are truly low lands, that is, consisting of multiple areas or regions. At the beginning of our trip, our tour guide taught us that Holland does not in fact refer to the entire political country, but to two provinces on the Western coast, North Holland and South Holland, those which contain large cities like Amsterdam and the Hague, respectively. Dances of the Netherlands refers to this area as “Holland Proper”. netherlandsmapthumb

The concept of a unified Italy or a unified Netherlands remained foreign to the residents of these respective nations up until the 19th century, or arguably, even the First World War in many cases. Renaissance “Italy” was a conglomeration of city-states; Florence, Milan, Turin, Rome all had distinct dialects, art, cuisine, and took pride in these cultural identifiers. And though men like Guglielmo Ebreo worked the courts of many of these city states, these various seats of power hosted one another as if they were hosting a foreign entity. Fascinatingly enough, it is during these court visits that moresches, the intermezzi dances between royal and corporate dances, often represented the cultures of Egypt, France, Turkey, in a large, summative, and arguably stereotypical style. Though these cities did all that they could to establish themselves as culturally independent, they filled their diplomatic events with cultural profiling on a meta scale.moresche

Similarly, a Dutch resident of Limburg lived a very different life from a resident of Groningen or North Holland. Though the German polka was, for example, disseminated all over the Netherlands as well as Northern Germany and Eastern Scandinavia, each province took liberty in their individual variations of this dance.

Yet as a resident of Holland, MI, and of the greater United States, I realize that my perception of Dutch culture, as well as any other particular European culture, has been filtered and funneled down to me by the immigrants who claim these heritages. For example, Dances of the Netherlands goes into great detail about the quasi-liturgical dances of Limburg and Terschelling, the Easter chain procession and the round dances of the Feast of St. John, respectively. I could not imagine the Dutch showing any flamboyant public expression for any church event, much less for one like the feast of St. John (N.B., another Florentine connection!). I realized that my perception of “Dutch culture” has been heavily influenced by the Calvinist immigrants, individuals who opposed both dance and the liturgical calendar.

Therefore, when Holland, MI, conducts something like Dutch Dancing during Tulip Time every May, the choreography and costuming of these dances draw from an assortment of Dutch provinces (but most likely those from which the immigrants departed) and the culture of frontier America as well.TulipFestKlompen3_700767

In terms of pedagogy, the Dutch dance manual and De Practica offer two methodologies that lead to same conclusion. Though the former teaches dance steps through written word, and the latter through underlining principle (i.e., the establishment of the six principles: measure, memory, etc.), they provide a framework with which a group can reproduce some formulated product. Yet this dance will always be riddled with the embellishments and interpretations of the individual culture. Yet in the digital era, institutions like the MET’s catalog of dance allows little room for embellishment and more room for emulation.

The Ideal Dance

Dance raises the spirits and lightens the heart. For as physical as dance is, it is also spiritual. In both Renaissance Florence and Holland this spiritual aspect of dancing shapes an idealized notion of the city which is demonstrated most prominently in none other than each city’s manual on how to dance.

Both De Practica of Renaissance Florence and the 1944 manual Dances of the Netherlands share some unique insight into how Florentines and the Dutch view dance.

In De Practica dance is hailed as one of the liberal arts and both an art and a science. It lists several fundamental principles of dance: measurement, memory, partitioning the ground, manner, air, and movement. The manual helps to formulate ideals for the aspiring dancer, offering not only advice on how to achieve the ideals but also an example of that perfection.

Dances of the Netherlands presents various kinds of dances to the reader based on the region of Holland. It then goes into detail about the occasions when dances are performed, the music that accompanies them, and the costumes which the people wear when dancing. All these elements make it apparent that dancing was a great source of civic pride for the Dutch. It was something used for celebration, showcased on feast days, and in which most every member of the community could participate.

After these descriptions, Dances of the Netherlands dives into descriptions of the actual dances themselves. Here we find that many of the dances are accompanied by lyrics. This contrasts with the dances for which De Practica gives instruction, none of which appear to have lyrics. Dances of the Netherlands also has vibrant illustrations depicting the costumes and showing how a particular dance might look. This helps the aspiring dancer to have some visual ideal to aim for.

But more so than ideals simply in terms of dance, both Dances of the Nehtherlands and De Practica present idealized notions of the cities from which their dances originate.

As a marker of nobility and learning in Renaissance Florence, dancing is presented in De Practica as an art of grace and skill. The courtiers of Renaissance Florence would supposedly be well versed in adding additional flourishes and turns to their dancing with grace and ease. De Practica presents the art of dancing in such a way that one would expect to find every well-bred person in Florence to be an excellent dancer.

Dances of the Netherlands presents dance as though it is something that the entire town would participate in. Although it is an instruction manual on how to dance, it also seems to assume broad regional knowledge. It appears from the handbook that nearly every member of a particular geographical area would be familiar with the folk dances of their area. Not to mention that members of different regions would be able to recognize particular dances as traditional to particular areas. Thus, Dances of the Netherlands also paints with rather a broad stroke, making Holland sound quite as perfect as the dancers De Practica purports.

A Matter of Pride

Regardless of the society, dance functions as a window into a society’s culture. The variety of dances that are birth during individual movements and periods in a civilization are dependent on the dance’s social context. Some dances ae religious in nature. While others denote a festive and jubilant experience. Moreover, although the collection of dances is not as expansive in either renaissance Florence or in Holland, Michigan during Tulip time, both cities have unique cultures that are reflected through their dances.

Image result for belriguardo dancingAs one can imagine it is difficult to truly capture the essence and image of the dancing that occurred in renaissance Florence. However, one is able to read written descriptions of each of the popularized dances that people preformed at the time in Guglielmo Eberro of Pesaro’s De Practica and dance steps by Arbeau. Although each of these pieces is written with the assumption that the reader has a baseline knowledge of dance, they are still helpful in explaining the social context of dance in Florence, as well as the dances themselves. More specifically, the performance of dances like the ballo saltaerllo leoncehllo, bel riguado, and bassadanza occurred at public festivities, weddings, and political receptions. The dances of this society were not performed as a leisure activity or a hobby, but rather they epitomized the virtues, power, and values of Florence at the time. Thus, many performances functioned as a vehicle to present these ideal to both allies and rivals alike.

DD-history1Contrasting slightly, Dances of the Netherlands not only gives a description of modern Dutch dancing, explains the background and importance of dress for the dancing that occurs during tulip time in Holland. This manual is far more useful in the process of recreating and understanding the dance that occurred in the Netherlands. Furthermore, even though this source such as this one were available to those in Holland, figuring out how to reconstruct traditional Dutch dance with the proper costumes and techniques was a difficult feat. The Tulip Time website notes that “over the years, as information became available, additional costumes were added and revisions were made.” These changes are reflected in today’s tulip time performances. Today’s performers “wear costumes patterned after the traditional dress if Dutch provinces.” Holland has spent many years perfecting their rendition of traditional dance. Therefore, these dances play an essential role in the tulip time festivities and are necessary part of maintaining the cities civic pride.

In this sense, the sentiments of Holland’s tulip time dances are echoed in the sentiments of the dancing that occurred in Florence.  The cultural influence of the dancing that occurs in both of these cities plays a vital role in establish and nurturing the cities civic pride. As a depiction of power, dancing allowed Florence to show its strength and values. While the careful reconstruction of Dutch dancing pays homage to the city’s beginnings and helps the city keep its identity. Therefore, despite the dissimilarities in the effectiveness of their dance manuals, Florentine dancing and Holland’s Dutch dancing are vital in helping the citizens in each of these cities understand their own sense of pride.




A Timeless Rebirth

The festive dances in fifteenth-Century Italy and twenty-first century Holland, Michigan each uphold a unique enthusiasm for the expression of cultural pride. Social dances successfully bring together the public through exciting dance numbers with coordinated sequences. The dances of today and those of yesterday can only be reminisced by the moments captured during the time of action. Yet, the Dutch dances in Holland never cease to create a lively appeal that stems from the rebirth of the Netherlands’ character. The harmonic aroma of young and old dancers in traditional clogs, long dresses, and white caps worn by the girls keeps the city of Holland ageless.

The Netherlands’ manual of Dutch Dance provides descriptions of the organized dances that were not only easier to comprehend than Renaissance manuals, but the reader is able to grasp a hold of the joyful presence that the choreographed movements demanded. The rhythm of the described steps DutchDancingdirects the imagination of the readers into a time of soulful consonance between each performer. The “Chain Dance” was a dance that was performed in the Netherlands for public fairs, weddings, and national feast days that included lively skipping and the linking of arms. The music from fiddlers, brass bands, and accordion players matched the enthusiasm of the people who call for the warmth of togetherness.

The social dances of Renaissance Florence call for a different purpose than Dutch dancing. The iconographical sources provided by Guglielmo Ebreo open a segway into the social context of the the city. As mentioned in De Practica Arte Tripudii on the Practice or Art of Dancing that was written by Guglielmo Ebreo of Pesaro, Renaissance dances were organized for marriages, political receptions, and other grand public festivities, similar to that of the Netherlands. Unlike Dutch dancing, however, a heavy concentration was placed primarily on the performance and display while striving to impress the allies and rivals of Florence. The organized choreography from the manual and instruction from De Practica structured around precision and perfection to uphold a social reputation.

15While both Dutch Dancing and the Renaissance dancers rely upon musical adaptation, the dancers of Renaissance Florence especially kept in mind the fundamentals of what made a skilled dancer during this time: harmony, measure, memory, partitioning the ground, manner, air, and movements. Through mastering the fundamental elements for what makes a good dancer, the dances and the audience stood for the purpose of being honored and loved. Just as Michelozzo di Bartolommeo gained awe from the public through his extravagantly constructed palazzo built in 1446, higher officials in Florence gained honor and respect through their manner in performances, such as the saltarello and piva. These dances reflected riches and prestige of public figures in Florence, Italy.

In Holland, Dutch dancing’s rebirth carries on the same intentions behind the organized dances back in the Netherlands, despite the evolved elements when Dutch dancing came alive again in 1935. Unlike Florence during the Renaissance, the dancers of the Netherlands and those who perform Dutch dancing in Holland, Michigan are uninterested in self-gain and proving one’s power over another. They strive for cultural unity which serves as a delightful reminder of the moments that are revived again and again. The Dutch Dances in Holland during Tulip Time refine the city each year, dancing away the cold winters, recapturing the moments from last spring, and welcoming a rebirth of Holland’s pride and joy.

A Renaissance In Western Michigan: An Analysis of Tulip Time and the Image of Holland

What is dance?  According to Arbeau, a Renaissance dance master, it is “an outward show of true nature.” Although this is true to an extent, dance could be more clearly defined as an outward show of perceived nature.  Here in our local town of Holland, Michigan this can be seen each spring, when the tulips bloom, and thousands of tourists arrive for the annual Tulip Time festival. In this one short week, Holland not only celebrates its heritage but effectively present itself as a family- oriented, traditional town throughdowntownTT its authentic Dutch food, Netherland imported tulips, and, most importantly, its Dutch dance performances.


In Holland and Renaissance Florence, dance was not only a presentation of skill but of culture.  To Florentines it was a chance to display power and prestige in both their ornate dress, and controlled, but graceful, dance movements. This is true as well with Dutch dancing as well, however Holland presents a very different image.  Over the last several decades, Holland, regionally, has become known as a safe, traditional, welcoming town, because of the image it has successfully portrays through the Tulip Time Festival. In choosing to perform traditional Holland dances, it successfully creates this image of a community that values its heritage and thus traditional morality.

In seeking to preserve the values presented in dance, both Holland and Renaissance Italy had official dance manuals commissioned.  Arbeau’s dance manual De Practica was dedicated to the prestigious Sforza family.  Similarly, when Tulip Time was first invented in 1953, the city commissioned a researcher to publish the book Dances of the Netherlands meant to provide background and instruction based upon traditional Netherland dance.  Both manuals, for the majority of the work, are concerned with the history or theory of dance itself.  The commission of each work itself illustrates each culture’s desire to create a model of dance, and, following Arbeau’s argument, therefore each book creates a model of virtue, for the community in both the content and presentation of dance.Renaissance Dance

One clear example of this is the discussion of gender roles in each work.  In Arbeau’s instruction manual De Practica, the dance master clearly outlines the “Rules for Woman” so that a woman might conduct herself “virtuously”, with “discretion and modesty” by casting her eyes always toward the ground.  These instructions illustrate how Renaissance culture idealized obedience and submissiveness in women.  In The Dances of the Netherlands, men and women have different roles in the dance, seen in both the steps and costume, however, the different steps and partner nature of the dance complement each other, clearly represents more equality.

The Dance of the Netherlands manual discusses in length, how traditions were lost in Netherlands to the modern “Calvinistic” cities.  Through these dances here in Holland each year, the community tries to keep a small form of these dances and the morals they embody alive, by instilling a sense of civic pride, and nothing arouses more Dutch pride than dancing and a pair of wooden shoes.

Evolution of [the Purpose of] Dance

Dancing has not always been an integral part of society, but where it has persevered it has created an important marker of heritage and patriotic pride. However, the purpose and meaning of dance has changed over the centuries, as evidenced by Florentine medieval dance manuals and more modern Dutch manuals and performances of dance during Tulip Time in Holland, MI. There has been a shift of dancing for ritual to dancing for recreation.

Some of the most complete records on medieval Florentine dance come from the De Pratica Seu Arte Tripuddi, also known as On the Practice or Art of Dancing, and the of works of Arbeau. These texts discuss a few specific dances of the time that were commonly performed at weddings, feasts, and other events of celebration and included information such as the principles and etiquette of dance. They were written as objects of study, using references to specific dance steps such as the saltarello without giving a description of the move, assuming common knowledge among its readers.

In contrast to this work, the 1944 Dances of the Netherlands is a fairly modern dance manual and covers the history, costumes, and describes specific dances to be performed. While the Dances of the Netherlands may be more straightforward than either the De Pratica or the works of Arbeau, in each manual obstacles to research and representation are encountered because of assumed knowledge and language barriers.

The purpose and meaning of dance has also evolved over the centuries from displays of power to performances of heritage. In medieval Florence, dance was used as a political tool to convey power and virtue to its citizens, allies, and enemies. Outward appearances reflected inward righteousness in Florence, where graceful dancing showed wealth, intelligence, and virtue.

That view changed in modern times, moving from ritualistic displays of power to performances of recreation and celebration. While there were still a few ritualistic dances in the Netherlands, the majority of dance had evolved into a display of recreational and celebrational function. Many of these dances were performed at holidays, banquets, festivals, and other events, with the types ranging from couples to dances involving the whole town.

Dance with a Dutch influence has evolved even further than those dances described in the Netherlands manual, into a central part of a celebration of Dutch heritage in Holland, Mi. This event is called the Tulip Time festival, usually taking place in early May, with its performances of Dutch dancing being a key feature of the festival. While Tulip Time choreographers have attempted to follow traditional Dutch dances and costumes as accurately as possible, it is acknowledged that many of the dances have modern elements, creating a variation of true pre-modern dances.

The success of Tulip Time shows that while dance is a difficult topic to research and represent accurately, dance is also a fluid art that changes with time just as its meaning changes; from the ritualistic dances of the Florentines to the heritage and honor infused dances of Holland.